18 hits carry Ketts over Bravos in Game 1 of West Division playoff series
By: Nick Galle
If there was any way to respond to a 13-1 loss at Doran Park, it was by doing what the Kettleers did on Friday night.
Cotuit wasted no time getting on the board, scoring three runs in the second inning and four runs in the third. Two-run home runs from Matthew Suggs and Nathan Martorella led the early charge, and the Ketts jumped out to an early 7-0 lead.
Although it was quickly in a hole, Bourne’s offense did not quit. Max Anderson doubled to drive in a pair in the bottom half of the third and Ben Huber had an RBI single in the fourth to bring the Bravos within four.
“I feel like I’m getting more comfortable as the games go on,” Huber said. “Mentality-wise I’m just not trying to do too much given what the opportunity presents to me. Don’t try to get the big hit, just try to get the hit that’s needed at the time.”
But the Kettleers responded, this time with a lethal series of blows that completely silenced the Bourne faithful.
A five-run sixth and three-run eighth completely extinguished any ounce of hope that was left in the Bourne dugout, and Cotuit went on to take Game 1 of the series 15-6.
All 11 Ketts that stepped into the batter’s box tallied a hit in the offensive showcase. Martorella went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, three runs scored and was a triple shy of the cycle. Jace Grady went 2-for-4 with a home run, four RBIs, two runs scored and a walk and Ryan Ritter went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk.
“We just got to put up zeroes. We got to get the first guy out of every inning and put up zeroes. Plain and simple. We didn’t do that today and it hurts,” pitching coach Eddie Marko said. “We always stress getting the first hitter out of every inning. Percentages of them scoring goes down extremely low if we can get that first hitter out.”
On the home side, Huber went 2-for-3 with one RBI, Christian Knapczyk went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and Tanner Schobel went 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored. Quinn Matthews had an outstanding start for Cotuit, striking out nine through five innings of work, while allowing just one earned run on five hits.
“I think we just got to let this one go (and) come back tomorrow ready to play,” Schobel said. “We’ve lost like this before, where it’s been a big game, and then come back the next day and won big. I think we can get a nice win tomorrow and it shouldn’t be a big deal.”
Bourne will look to rebound tomorrow at 4 p.m. for Game 2 of the series at Lowell Park. Austin Parsley is listed as the Braves’ probable starter and will look to extend their 2021 season.
Cover photo via: Joe Sullivan